Saint City News

RECAP: my sixth week at a small newspaper

Hi everyone,

I didn’t get a chance to write my blog up for June 9-13 during the week and as I type this right now it is June 16 so a lot of details from last week have already escaped my memory… meaning this could be a very short blog (not that anyone is reading anyway, haha).

Monday, June 9:
To refresh my memory I’ll just start off by saying I wrote 4 stories for the June 9-13 week, one about a local non-profit organization, one about a St. Albert high school that raised money for an African academy, one about an Edmonton-based soldier who died in Afghanistan, and one about a parents and kids centre and their summer program guide. Look at that! It did refresh my memory, I know what I did on Monday now!

Monday morning I was sent to go cover a press conference that was being held at the Edmonton Garrison to address the recent passing of an Edmonton-based soldier who died that weekend in Afghanistan. I knew how to get there from 97th street but in order to get to 97th street I’d have to backtrack into Edmonton. Google Map gave me a quicker route to get there straight from St. Albert so I printed out those directions, followed it, and LO AND BEHOLD, they were wrong. :|

I was so confused. The stupid directions brought me into Edmonton! It was so weird and I got so worried I would be late and they wouldn’t let me into the conference! But from wherever the heck I was at the Edmonton/St. Albert border limits I backtracked to 97th street and drove up to the Garrison. That didn’t take too long so I was pretty happy but once I actually got to the Garrison it’s like it’s only little mini town or something with roads and streets and different addresses so I had to stop and ask a military man for some directions help and he had never even heard of the building where the conference was going to take place! He did say some newer buildings were in – points to a direction – direction, so I went off in that way and thank goodness found the building with about 10 minutes to spare before the conference began.

I also bumped into my J-school Photojournalism teacher there! The pictures I took I was taking with the Flash on and my teacher had never let us use Flash during our class assignments so I tried to take some quick pictures and then put the camera away so he wouldn’t question me about my method and complete chucking-away of what he had taught us, Lol.

I don’t remember what else I did on Monday but the conference itself was a great experience. I was being stupid and was focusing on taking pictures of the soldiers coming in at the beginning that I didn’t pay attention to when the one soldier introduced the 4 other speaker soldiers by their first names so I had no idea who was talking at what time I was just going by their physical description. In the end though one of the media people handed out sheets to everyone there with little stick drawings of speakers and then the spelling of their names and their titles and rankings and things next to that so, thank goodness for that! And lesson learned, ALWAYS listen when they introducing speakers, come on Linda you should have known that already!

Tuesday, June 10:
I think today is when I ended up calling the people for my other 2 stories (I had already interviewed people last week for the non-profit organization story) so I think on Tuesday I was just probably transcribing and waiting for people to call me back (cause you know they are never in their offices when you call them).

I think Tuesday afternoon I also went down to this mini-museum to take a picture for my non-profit organization story and I ended up meeting a former Senator! I didn’t even know Alberta or Canada had senators but she was the real thing she even had Honourable and ‘Dr.’ in front of her name on her little business card. She was really nice, I liked talking to her. She said come down anytime to talk or learn more about the museum and stuff and I think that’d be pretty cool if I did, just the fact that I have no time to do stuff like that on my free time is what gets in the way of that.

Wednesday, June 11:
I think I was just transcribing and writing out all my stories today, and reading the news online probably. I don’t remember what I did on Wednesday too too clearly, and it’s only been a few days since then!

Oh wait, in the morning I went to a high school outside of the city to take pictures of their little nickel drive event that I wrote a story about in the prior week’s paper!

I know that all of the reporters had no where to go that night though so I wouldn’t have any computers with a working InDesign to use so I assumed that meant I would be going home early. Instead, my editor sent me to take pictures of 2 different events happening at 6PM. The batteries on the office-supplied cameras really stink because they definitely crapped out on me both earlier that morning at the high school event and then after 6 too.

You can trick your batteries pretty easily by taking them out and putting them back into the camera again though I managed to get an extra 10 minutes or so out of the batteries by doing that little trick but still, lame, they need to invest in some new batteries!

After I took those photos I went back to the office, uploaded the photos, wrote out caplines for them, and then my editor said I could head on home so I did.

Thursday, June 12:
I can’t remember what I did today. Honest to goodness I have no idea.

Well except for copyediting…

And I probably read a lot of news both online and in the paper.

I think today I went to an event at Sturgeon Community Hospital though. It was either today or Friday that I went to it. I’m thinking it was today.

Friday, June 13:
My early-day Fridays was cut off this Friday because there was a little thing going on at a school that was a picture opportunity so they assigned me to do it. I ended up being the last one in the office because the sports guy doesn’t come in on Fridays, the other news reporter’s car broke down so she had to get a shuttle thing to drive her to her car/home, and my editor had a dentist appointment at 2.

After everyone left I also got a call from RBC saying they were having a customer appreciation day and they’d love if someone could take a picture for the paper so I thought, well why not it’s on the way anyway.

So I did that and then oh before my editor left for his appointment he asked me to come into the city tomorrow to take photos for some events going on around the city. He was originally going to do it but as the other news reporter’s car was all faulty he just wanted to make sure that there was someone here covering stuff in case he had to go and take the reporter’s place in case her car was shotty tomorrow. Makes sense.

Saturday, June 14:
One of the events my editor had said would be going on this morning… turns out it happened two weeks ago. So that was kind of a waste of time and gas.

The other two events didn’t start for another hour/2 hours so I ended up driving around aimlessly, and then trying to find parking for one event, which proved bad because I got a parking ticket for parking in a place where I guess I wasn’t allowed to.

Anyways, so I paid the parking ticket before I went to the third event I had to cover and after I took pictures there, I went back to the office, uploaded pictures, and was off.

Linda Hoang is an Edmonton blogger who writes about food, travel, lifestyle/events and pets. She's also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda is in love with her city and loves exploring and promoting Edmonton and other places she visits with her husband Mike. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival (and has 2 cats herself, along with 2 dogs).

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